Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc., a Clean Harbors Company

Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc., a Clean Harbors Company

Environmental waste management and parts cleaning services. Safety-Kleen is the premier provider of environmental services. Our highly skilled and trained service representatives collect, process, recycle, and dispose of an almost unlimited range of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. As the leader in recovery, recycling and disposal of waste, Safety-Kleen offers environmental solutions to more businesses than anyone, anywhere.

Company details

2600 North Central Expressway,Suite 400 , Richardson , Texas 75080 USA

More Office Locations Locations Served

Business Type:
Service provider
Industry Type:
Waste and Recycling
Market Focus:
Internationally (various countries)
Year Founded:
Over 1000

Safety-Kleen is a leading provider of environmental services to commercial, industrial and automotive customers

We are the largest re-refiner of used oil and provider of parts cleaning services in North America. Our broad selection of environmentally responsible products and services ensure the proper collection, processing, re-refining, recycling and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous materials.

Safety-Kleen is uniquely qualified to enable our customers to Make Green Work

In other words we strive to increase the value of our customers' business by helping balance their sustainability objectives with their financial goals. We do this better than others by providing the most comprehensive protection, the widest range of sustainable choices and the highly experienced and trained people necessary to Make Green Work.

With almost a half-century of experience, Safety-Kleen is recognized as a trusted provider of environmental solutions to over 200,000 customer locations, delivering responsible closed-loop solutions for managing many of our customers' waste streams. These solutions allow us to recycle, reclaim and reuse both used oil and spent cleaning solvent. This system conserves natural resources, reduces our customers' environmental liability, and provides us with economic advantages through the reduction of costs and the sale of recovered products.

Our services and products fall into three principal categories:

Oil Solutions. We are North America's largest collector, recycler and re-refiner of used oil. We own and operate the two largest oil re-refineries in North America, collecting and processing more than 200 million gallons of oil per year. Through a closed-loop system we are able to collect used oil and re-refine most of it into new, finished products that can be returned to the marketplace.

Cleaning Solutions. We are North America's leading provider of parts cleaning services.Safety-Kleen is the largest collector and recycler of used solvent in NorthAmerica, processing 11 million gallons of cleaning solvent annually. We leverage our brand and our leading national market position in parts cleaning services to offer a complimentary line of Safety-Kleen branded products that include hand, floor and general purpose cleaners, as well as spill kits,absorbents and cleaning aerosols.

Environmental Solutions. Safety-Kleen is also a leading provider of containerized waste and vacuum services, industrial waste management, Total Project Management and Compliance Services to a wide range of customers in the automotive, metalworking, manufacturing and other markets. Safety-Kleen is also a leading provider of containerized waste and vacuum services, industrial waste management, Total Project Management and Compliance Services to a wide range of customers in the automotive, metalworking, manufacturing and other markets. From used oil re-refining and industrial waste services to environmental project management and advanced parts cleaning technologies, Safety-Kleen is there, leading the way in responsible environmental solutions.

Safety-Kleen is a leading provider of environmental services, oil re-refining and responsible cleaning solutions.

We are at the forefront of developing practical green processes for business, just as we were the day the company was founded. In fact, for many years, we were virtually alone. Few people share our passion for keeping workplaces safe by keeping the environment clean. That passion, and the resulting innovation, punctuates our history with notable firsts and remarkable achievements.

Key moments in Safety-Kleen story:

The Beginning: In 1954, Ben Palmer invented the PartsWasher. Deemed the “Safety-Kleen” washer, it was a success from the start. Palmer believed that spelling the name as “Kleen” instead of “Clean” would garner attention and that it did.

The 1960’s: Palmer decided in early 1960’s not to sell his machine, but rather to lease it to the customer and provide services such as removing and replenishing the used solvent. This practice is still maintained today through the Safety-Kleen service structure. In 1963, Safety-Kleen became officially incorporated and Palmer worked at growing the business in three cities of the country.

In 1968, Safety-Kleen was sold to Chicago Rawhide which would forever change the path of the company. They bought an old oil plant in Chicago and opened it as a recycling or “reclamation” plant which became a tool for increasing volumes of used solvent generated in the Midwest.

The 1970’s: In 1972, Safety-Kleen launched its first allied product, the oil filter, and their first major advertising campaign targeting service stations and garages. Also, in 1972 they sold their 100,000th parts washer marking a huge company milestone.

In 1974, Safety-Kleen spun off from Chicago Rawhide becoming an independent company. And as the EPA era began, Safety-Kleen was the largest solvent recycler processing more than 25 million gallons a year.

The 1980’s: In 1982, Safety-Kleen became listed on the New York Stock Exchange and by the end of the year held more than 9.1 million shares, grew to a company worth a billion dollars and employed nearly 5,000.

In 1987, Safety-Kleen began its oil recovery business, which reclaimed used oil and re-refined it through their first re-refinery in Breslau, Ontario Canada.

The 1990’s: In 1998, Safety-Kleen merged with Laidlaw Environmental. Unfortunately the success of the merger was short-lived and Safety-Kleen filed for bankruptcy in 2000.

Present Day: After successfully emerging from bankruptcy and relocating to Texas, a new turnaround strategy was implemented. In 2005, after sustained revenue and EBITDA growth, Safety-Kleen obtained new financing. Safety-Kleen refinanced its senior debt facility and completed $500 million in re-capitalization. The company received new, improved financial ratings from S&P(BB-) and Moody's (B1).

In 2008, Safety-Kleen introduced EcoPower recycled motor oil to consumers. The oil is re-refined at our two North American re-refineries and entered back into the marketplace.

In December 2012, Safety-Kleen was purchased by CleanHarbors, Inc., forming the largest environmental services company in North America, approaching $4 billion in annual revenue.